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Physics major to study engineering in Germany through UAS7 Grant

VERMILLION, S.D. -- University of South Dakota student Mitchell Wagner, a junior majoring in physics, is the recipient of a UAS7 Study and Internship Scholarship from German Universities of Applied Sciences.

Wagner, part of USD’s Honors Program, credits Susan Hackemer, associate director of the Honors Program, as well as language professor Istvan Gombocz, Ph.D., who teaches German, for their assistance during the application process for this unique scholarship opportunity.

“The Honors Program teaches you to think outside the box and gives you a motivation to try new things,” said Wagner of Milbank, S.D. “I had taken two years of Spanish in high school, so I was just going to test out of Spanish 101 and 102 and put it behind me. However, I decided that I wanted to be a more rounded individual so I decided to step outside of what I was used to and take German.”

Wagner will depart for Germany in late summer to spend a semester at Hamburg Universities of Applied Sciences taking classes in the field of information engineering, which consists of electrical engineering and computer science. Upon completion of the academic program, he will spend an additional six months completing an internship either through the university or with a German company.

“After I graduate, I would like to get my master’s degree in an engineering branch of some sort, more likely mechanical or aerospace,” Wagner added. “It would be my dream to get my master’s degree from a German engineering university and either stay there and work for the private sector or come back to the U.S. and work.”

The UAS7 grant is financed from public funds for the purpose of promoting postsecondary studies in the Federal Republic of Germany. More information about UAS7 institutions and the grant is available at


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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Hanna DeLange
USD News